Pelicans in St James's Park
Pelicans have lived in St James’s Park for nearly 400 years, enjoying the semi-wild habitat of the lake and giving human visitors a glimpse of exotic wildlife in the heart of London.
Originally given as a gift from the Russian Ambassador to King Charles II in 1664, the pelicans still delight visitors from all over the world as they gather on Pelican Rock in St James's Park lake. Since then, over 40 pelicans have made London their home. Much loved current residents, Louis, Vaclav and Gargi, have been enjoying the Park for many years, but as this existing colony grows older, new pelicans are vital to maintain the heritage of having pelicans in the Park.
In 2015 Royal London became our official Pelican Partner. The partnership with Royal London helps keep the pelicans healthy and well fed with plentiful supplies of fish. It will also enable us to provide students and the wider public with information about our fantastic pelican colony, including education materials and workshops for schools and information in St James’s Park.
Pelicans in the Park
In the wild, pelicans live in colonies and are gregarious animals who fish and roost together. Their natural habitat is large shallow lakes so St James’s Park lake provides an ideal environment.
Free to roam in St James's Park, the pelicans rarely stray far from the lake and enjoy safe havens on Duck Island away from the public and any predators. As well as snacking on fish in the lake, the wildlife officer feeds them fish every day and ensures they are in good health. Find out more about pelicans and their life and history in St James’s Park.